HYDERABAD: In the treatment of epilepsy the body weight, recurrence of seizures and the debilitating effect on the body has to be evaluated before prescribing medication. A minimum dosage of 21 mg has to be given to children who suffer from epilepsy as higher doses could lead to headaches, vomiting and complications. The minimum dose is often reduced to 15 or 18 mg if the child is weak. But higher doses of 50 mg and above are being given to children when the seizures are intense.
“Children who come with a high intensity of seizures require a much higher dose to control it. It has been found that lower dosages often do not have the desired effect and they lead to recurrent lapses which affect them adversely,” neurologist Dr Ram Mohan said. He said treatment of epilepsy has two sides — too much is harmful and too less does not prove to be useful. “For every patient it is a trial and error method,” he said. Dr Deepika Sirineni, consultant neuro-physician, explained, “There is a wide range of medicines available and doctors have to pick and choose the right ones which will work for children. There are several organisations which guide doctors as they have a record of the adverse effects in their data bank.”
“It is important for doctors to keep track and prescribe medicines accordingly. The new drug, lacosamide which is prescribed for adults is not safe for children. This drug is a clear ‘no’ for children and it should not be prescribed to them," Dr Sririneni said. Epilepsy drugs fall in the category of psychiatric drugs and they have side effects like headache, vomiting, stomach ache and sometimes severe pain in the joints. Complications seen in some cases of children where the medicines do not suit them and they are found to suffer from kidney and skin infections. Senior neurologist Dr S.R. Prasad said single medication works for patients only in limited cases.
“For that reason there is a cocktail of medicines prescribed for epilepsy. This is because seizure has a debilitating effect on the brain and the physical condition of the child. Some of them hurt themselves during seizures and they need to be cured quickly and completely," Dr Prasad said. In India, epilepsy is about twice as common in children as in adults where 700 per 1,00,000 children under the age of 16 years suffer from the disease compared to 330 per 1,00,000 in adults....